Suspected cases of the Monkey Pox virus are growing and spreading like wildfire, emphasising the need for proper hygiene.

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, gave an update on the situation on Wednesday. 

Monkey pox has spread to 11 states with 74 suspected cases recorded so far, he told reporters in Abuja after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

On October 11, the Minister confirmed that 33 suspected cases of the virus were recorded in 7 states, but that figure has increased by 124%.

Monkey Pox is a rare viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms in humans similar to those seen in past cases of smallpox patients, although less severe.


The minister, who updated the Council on developments in respect of the outbreak, listed the affected states as Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Lagos, Nasarawa and Rivers as well as the Federal Capital Territory.

"We informed the council about the latest development in respect of the Monkey Pox virus outbreak. So far as of today, there are 74 suspected cases in 11 states.

"We have confirmed 3 from Bayelsa and 12 of the suspected cases from Bayelsa tested negative; 4 suspected cases from Lagos tested negative. We are still expecting the results of the other ones.

"We are also doing test at the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), Edeh, to really understand the genomics of this virus.

"Even when they are negative, the laboratory attendant should be able to tell us what exactly they are," he said.

After the cases were reported in Baylsa, rumours spread that the military was spreading Money Pox through vaccination, but the Minister said the assertion was false.

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He said that the military was never involved in any vaccination in Nigeria.

"It is also important to dispel the rumour circulating in the country that the military is vaccinating people and trying to spread Monkey Pox across the country.

"The military is not involved in any vaccination exercise.

"And I must educate Nigerians about how vaccination campaigns are done. The Federal Government will take the lead but we do not conduct campaign without working with states.

"So, there is no way we will do campaign without working with the states," he said.

The minister announced that his ministry was conducting vaccination in only 3 states of the federation - Borno, Kwara and Kogi.

He stated that the cholera vaccination was being conducted in Borno while that of Yellow Fever was being carried out in Kwara and Kogi.

According to him, the ministry will soon start vaccination against measles while a nationwide vaccination against Yellow Fever would commence before the end of the year.